Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe yesterday morning participated in the virtual meeting on review of Region/State Mask and Face Shield Campaigns via videoconferencing.
During the meeting, the Union Minister said as follows.
* The meeting is aimed at sharing experiences encountered during the Region/State Mask and Face Shield Campaigns.
* Only if the COVID-19 pandemic is effectively controlled, businesses, the education sector, and social sector will be restored to normal, and that public cooperation is important.
* Ministry of Health and Sports regularly announces new findings on COVID-19 disease: such as the ways COVID-19 is transmitted and control strategies.
* If the public campaign is not implemented properly, it will be very difficult to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
* Even if the world gets effective COVID-19 vaccines, it may take long to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign in our country. The general public must continue adhering to the COVID-19 measures due to various factors such as virus mutations, and the existence of asymptomatic patients.
* For successful public campaign, officials of Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Departments must provide 100 per cent professional support to the campaign supervised by regional governments and regional ministers for social affairs.
* Departments/ organizations must exchange information, analyze information, and establish procedures on the situations.
* Organizing working committees, preparing for relevant checklists and distribution to the officials. For any special cases related to the outbreak, relevant Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Departments should immediately notify the central-level department.
* In accordance with the rules of the Region/State Mask and Face Shield Campaigns, buyers must wear masks, and they should buy from the sellers who wear masks and face shields to prevent the spread of the disease.
* At the beginning of the public campaign, the Ministry must make great efforts and efficiently use available resources.
* It would be more effective if those who failed to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention rules, such as not wearing masks, are ordered to work as volunteers in health awareness activities.
* All banks must provide free masks to all visitors, and all bank officials and staff members must wear masks and face shields.
* Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Departments, and District and Township level officials must consult with each other at least once every three days.
* Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Departments must regularly review the current situations on the outbreak and must submit the information to the central level once a week. The central level department will be able to provide necessary assistance to the regional departments immediately.
* The Mask and Face Shield Campaign was aimed at promoting COVID-19 awareness of all individuals, and it will take some time. The campaign period will last for about two to three months.
Deputy Director-General Dr Tun Myint, Yangon Region Public Health and Medical Services Department
* He explained the distribution of health awareness pamphlets at the markets. Prohibiting any person who fails to wear a mask from entering the market. Shoppers are also required to wear masks. Campaigners will give the sellers masks and face shields. Media are conducting interviews with buyers and sellers to raise COVID-19 awareness.
* Those who fail to follow the rules must be ordered to volunteer in awareness-raising activities as punitive actions.
* Cooperation among relevant ministries. Markets need to have trash cans and hand washbasins. Campaign officials, market officials and Yangon City Development Committee are working together to provide enough water to the markets.
* Singers and performers will also help the Mask and Face Shield Campaigns. He said that campaign officials would educate people about face shield cleaning techniques.
Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs U Naing Ngan Lin said:
* The Yangon Region government’s efforts in the Mask and Face Shield Campaign. Although the general public is aware of the disease prevention rules, some of them fail to adhere to the rules.
* Hluttaw representatives will provide assist once to the campaign in townships.
U Myo Thit, Mandalay Region Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation said :
* Each regional minister is assigned to work for the campaign in districts and townships.
* Activities of township-level COVID-19 committees.
* He made a suggestion that masks should be burnt after use.
Daw Nyunt Nyunt Htay, Bago Region Minister for Social Affairs said:
* Bago Region government is cooperating with the regional Public Health and Medical Services Department.
Dr Chan Tha, Rakhine State Minister for Social Affairs
* The COVID-19 response efforts are led by the regional government. The Rakhine State government has obtained professional advice from health officials and assigned responsibilities to relevant departments.
Dr Htein Lin, Mon State Minister for Social Affairs
* Each regional minister is supervising COVID-19 response efforts in townships.
* Cooperation with governmental departments, Myanmar Red Cross Society, Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association, and other organizations.
U Saw Bo Bo Wai Maung, Kayin State Minister for Social Affairs
* The public campaign is being carried out in crowded areas and markets.
* He also explained the situations in border checkpoints and the resumption of Myanmar-Thai border trade.
U Pau Lun Min Thang, Chin State Minister for Social Affairs
* He explained the outbreak in the Chin State and the situations in the border crossings. He said that the regional government, the General Administration Department, and charitable organizations are working together in the COVID-19 response efforts.
After that, officials from Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Department under the Ministry of Health and Sports discussed:
* Implementations of Mask and Face Shield Campaign at markets, bus stations and crowded places; availability of masks and face shields; distribution to people in various townships and hospitals; health awareness campaigns by using hand-held loudspeakers;
* They said that people know that wearing a mask and face shield can effectively prevent the COVID-19, but some of them fail to wear them.
* Additional need for masks, face shields, hand-held loudspeakers, and Rapid Antigen Diagnosis Test Kits.
* Plan to carry out the public campaign in crowded areas; future plans.
* Advices on taking actions against those who fail to adhere to the COVID-19 related instructions.
Deputy Minister for Health and Sports Dr Mya Lay Sein said:
* More masks, hand-held loudspeakers, and Rapid Antigen Diagnosis Test Kits will be distributed to the Region/State Public Health and Medical Services Departments.
* Situations related to using Rapid Antigen Diagnosis Test Kits and the results should be submitted to the central department on a regular basis.
Permanent Secretary Dr Thet Khaing Win:
* He said that the campaign is an important project for the country, and called on all stakeholders to work together and share their information with the relevant regional ministers for social affairs and regional governments.
The Union Minister delivered a closing speech:
* Thanks to all health officials and workers (in all Regions/States) working for the Mask and Face Shield Campaigns, governmental departments, and all relevant organizations.
* As in the Rakhine State, it is good that the COVID-19 response efforts are led by regional government.
* It is good that the COVID-19 response efforts in the Mandalay Region and Mon State are supervised by regional governments and regional ministers.
* It is good that Hluttaw representatives are providing assistance in the COVID-19 response efforts in townships in the Yangon Region.
* This public campaign must be carried out simultaneously in Regions/States.
* Authorities must monitor entry and exit points in Regions/States. COVID-19 surveillance activities in the areas adjacent to highways must be further strengthened.
* The Ministry of Health and Sports is making greater efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 as much as it can.
* The Ministry of Health and Sports alone cannot effectively control the spread of COVID-19. So, regional governments and relevant departments need to effectively cooperate in the COVID-19 response efforts. And if the citizens themselves are aware of the COVID-19 related guidelines and adhere to them, the COVID-19 response efforts will be successful. —MNA (Translated by Maung Maung Swe)